In 2016, the federal government provided a two-year bridge funding for non-profit and co-operative housing organizations whose operating agreements with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) ended between April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2018. Subsequently, the Federal Community Housing Initiative, phase 2 (FCHI-2) was launched, extending this support to March 2028.
Housing providers whose CMHC agreement(s) ended before April 1, 2016 were not eligible for this funding. CHRA, in partnership with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), have advocated since this time to provide assistance to housing providers whose agreements expired prior to April 1, 2016.
In order to support these housing organizations and provide affordable accommodations to individuals and families of low income, CMHC has confirmed that they will offer one-time temporary rental assistance for eligible non-profits and co-operative housing providers. This assistance will be administered on behalf of CMHC by the Community Housing Transformation Centre for the non-profit sector, and the Agency for Co-operative Housing for the co-op sector. Read an announcement from the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen.
This funding will provide up to 12 months of rental assistance for some of the eligible non-profits and co-ops excluded from the Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI). Eligible housing providers will need to apply to receive this funding – eligibility and application details can be found below.
In the meantime, CHRA and CHF Canada are continuing discussions with CMHC on how to provide longer-term support for providers with expired Operating Agreements prior to April 1, 2016. Those discussions are continuing, and so there is no announcement nor guarantee of longer-term support in that regard yet.
The deadline to apply for this one-time assistance is March 1, 2021. Housing providers can cancel their enrolment later, if desired, so we recommend enrolling.
Who is eligible?
Housing providers may be eligible to receive the temporary rental assistance if they meet all of the following criteria.They are a non-profit housing provider or a housing co-operative:
- whose federal operating agreement was administered either by CMHC or the Agency for Co-operative Housing at the time the agreement expired, and this agreement ended before April 1, 2016.
- whose operating agreement with CMHC was under one of the following social housing programs:
- Section 95 (Pre-86) non-profit, co-operative, urban native
- Section 95 (Post-85) non-profit, co-operative, urban native
- Section 95 (Post-85) Index-Linked-Mortgage (ILM) co-operatives
- Section 27, 61 non-profit and co-operatives
- Section 26 non-profit.
- who has an eligible low-income household in its project, which is defined as a household:
- whose occupancy charge or rent exceeds thirty percent of its gross household income, AND
- who is not receiving rental assistance from another source (e.g. province, municipality etc.).
Who is administering the temporary rental assistance?
The Community Housing Transformation Centre is administering this temporary rental assistance on behalf of CMHC for the non-profit housing sector, whereas the Agency for Co-operative Housing is administering this temporary rental assistance for the co-op housing sector.
How is rental assistance calculated?
- The amount of the rental assistance for each household will be calculated by the housing provider based on the concept of the households paying no more than 30 percent but not less than 25% of their income towards their housing accommodations. Non-profits and co-ops will have flexibility to manage their funding; CMHC will not dictate the number of households in the agreement.
- Any surplus funds at the end of the year can be retained by the housing provider to be used for low-income households in assisted units.
What are the next steps?
Eligible housing providers will need to complete the enrollment process at the link provided below. The Centre and Agency, in partnership with CMHC, will assess applications – note that not all eligible providers are guaranteed funding. If demand exceeds the maximum funding available, funding allocations will be prioritized. The Centre and Agency are aiming to finalize assessments by March 31, 2021 – a notice will go to applicants shortly thereafter announcing the results of the assessment.
For more information about this opportunity, and to complete the enrolment process, visit either of the following websites: